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No deal Brexit advice: changes for timber importers and exporters

FIRA recently published a paper article highlighting the advice on preparing for checks on timber as part of contingency planning in the event of a no-deal BREXIT.

DEFRA continue to send out communication alerting timber importers and exporters to consider requirements for their businesses in the event of a no deal Brexit.

Whilst delivering a deal with the EU remains the government’s top priority, the government must prepare for every eventuality, including a no deal scenario.

In a no deal scenario

Businesses importing timber and timber products from the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) and placing it on the UK market will have to carry out checks (known as ‘due diligence’) from day one of EU Exit. These checks demonstrate they are importing legally harvested timber, helping to protect against illegal deforestation.

Due diligence checks would involve:

  • gathering information on the timber, including its species, quantity, supplier, country of harvest and compliance with applicable legislation
  • assessing the risk of timber being illegal, applying set criteria in the regulations
  • obtaining additional information or taking further steps to verify legality (for example testing or assessment of the supply chain)

Businesses can either develop their own systems for these checks or use one provided by an approved monitoring organisation. This is what businesses currently have to do when they import timber from the rest of the world under the EU Timber Regulation.

There will be no changes to the current process for businesses importing from outside the EU, UK producers first placing on the market, and internal UK trade. As before, they will need to conduct checks to confirm their timber is legally harvested.

For more information on your organisations due diligence requirements you can attend a training course at FIRA International or contact Stuart Cochrane scochrane@fira.co.uk for some bespoke consultancy.

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